App launched to protect breastfeeding, monitor violations of the IMS Act

New Delhi [India]: Study says that more than 14 million babies in India risk their health as baby food companies flout laws and continue promoting their products in the market.

According to breastfeeding protection watchdog, Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI), baby food industry has allegedly violated the IMS Act at least 54 times if not more between 2008 and 2016 before being brought it to the attention of the government regulatory authorities.

Hence, a mobile app to protect breastfeeding, was jointly launched by Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, A.V. Swamy, Member of Parliament, and Arun Kumar Panda, Additional Secretary, Health and Family Welfare and Mission Director, NHM, Government of India.

The first of its kind app on breastfeeding protection called ‘Stanpan Suraksha,’ developed by Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI), has a baby food promotion reporting mechanism where any person can click a photograph of inappropriate promotion around them of baby food and related equipment and send it to BPNI through the app.

BPNI will further document and analyse the reports and follow up with required action. This feature will empower people to keep check on the baby food industry.

The app also has a data base of trained breastfeeding counselor through which people can look for a breastfeeding counselor in their city who can educate and provide assistance to mothers during antenatal and postnatal period by offering an informed choice to mothers for their breastfeeding problems.

Other features include sign up option for mothers who wish to become a breastfeeding counselor, pledging for petition and donation.

Dr Arun Gupta, Central Coordinator, BPNI and Regional coordinator, IBFAN Asia, said, “Undermining of breastfeeding practices is rampant in the country. The App will be instrumental in gathering incremental evidence to report on promotion of baby foods from remote locations.” (ANI)